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city and unitary authority (1991 pop. 370,300), SW England, at the confluence of the Avon and Frome rivers. Bristol, a leading international port, has extensive facilities, including docks at Avonmouth, Portishead, and Royal Portbury. It is a transportation hub and is a financial services center. General and nuclear engineering and the design and manufacture of aircraft are the largest industries. The Concorde, the former Franco-British supersonic airliner, was built in Bristol. Others industries include flour milling, printing, and the manufacture of paper, footwear, and tobacco products.

Points of interest in Bristol include the 14th-century church of St. Mary Redcliffe, known for its fine architecture; a 14th-century cathedral (rebuilt 1868–88) with a Norman chapter house and gateway; the Merchant Venturers' Almshouses; University Tower; and some notable examples of Regency architecture. The Clifton suspension bridge, spanning the Avon and the scenic Avon Gorge, connects Bristol with Leighwoods. Bristol has a famous university.

Bristol has been a trading center since the 12th cent. First chartered as a city in 1155, it became a separate county by order of Edward III in 1373, the first provincial town to receive this honor, and it remains a ceremonial county under the Lieutenancies Act. During the reign of Edward III the manufacture of woolen cloth was developed. The cloth was exported chiefly to Ireland, Spain, and Portugal.

The explorers John CabotCabot, John,
fl. 1461–98, English explorer, probably b. Genoa, Italy. He became a citizen of Venice in 1476 and engaged in the Eastern trade of that city. This experience, it is assumed, was the stimulus of his later explorations.
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 and his son Sebastian (to whom there is a monument on Brandon Hill) sailed to Newfoundland and America from Bristol in the late 15th and early 16th cent. In the 18th cent. Bristol was active in the colonial triangular trade: English goods went to Africa; African slaves to the West Indies; and West Indian sugar, rum, and tobacco to Bristol. The port declined during the late 18th and early 19th cent. because of competition from Liverpool, the end of slave trading, and the decline of the West Indian trade.

The Great Western (1838), one of the first transatlantic steamships, and the Great Britain (1845) the first ocean steamship with a screw propeller, were launched from Bristol, and the mid-19th cent. saw the revival of the port. The city was heavily damaged during World War II. The poets Thomas ChattertonChatterton, Thomas,
1752–70, English poet. The posthumous son of a poor Bristol schoolmaster, he was already composing the "Rowley Poems" at the age of 12, claiming they were copies of 15th-century manuscripts at the Church of St. Mary Redcliffe, Bristol.
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 and Robert SoutheySouthey, Robert
, 1774–1843, English author. Primarily a poet, he was numbered among the so-called Lake poets. While at Oxford he formed (1794) a friendship with Coleridge and joined with him in a plan for an American utopia along the Susquehanna River that was never
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 were born there.


1 Industrial city (1990 pop. 60,640), Hartford co., central Conn., on the Pequabuck River; settled 1727, inc. 1785. Its clock-making industry dates from 1790. It also makes machinery, electrical equipment, and metal products, and is home to the ESPN television network and an elevator testing facility. The American Clock and Watch Museum is there, and on Lake Compounce is the nation's oldest continually operating amusement park.

2 Industrial borough (1990 pop. 10,405), Bucks co., SE Pa., on the Delaware River opposite Burlington, N.J.; settled 1697, inc. 1720. Its many manufactures include plastics, paper, medical supplies, and electronic equipment. The third oldest borough in the state, it was once a busy river port with important shipbuilding activities. Among its historic structures is the Friends Meetinghouse (c.1710). A restoration of 17th- and 18th-century buildings and a replica of William PennPenn, William,
1644–1718, English Quaker, founder of Pennsylvania, b. London, England; son of Sir William Penn. Early Life

He was expelled (1662) from Oxford for his religious nonconformity and was then sent by his father to the Continent to overcome his
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's country manor are nearby.

3 Town (1990 pop. 21,625), seat of Bristol co., E R.I., a port of entry on Narragansett Bay; inc. as a Plymouth ColonyPlymouth Colony,
settlement made by the Pilgrims on the coast of Massachusetts in 1620. Founding

Previous attempts at colonization in America (1606, 1607–8) by the Plymouth Company, chartered in 1606 along with the London Company (see Virginia Company), were
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 town 1681, ceded to Rhode Island 1746. An early center of commercial trade, the port was (18th–19th cent.) a base for whaling and shipbuilding. The Herreshoff boatyard, where many winners of the America's Cup were built, was in operation until 1945. Manufacturing includes wire and cable, cotton thread, and fiberglass boats. King Philip's WarKing Philip's War,
1675–76, the most devastating war between the colonists and the Native Americans in New England. The war is named for King Philip, the son of Massasoit and chief of the Wampanoag. His Wampanoag name was Pumetacom, Metacom, or Metacomet.
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 (1675–76) began and ended on the site of the town, and a monument on Mt. Hope marks the spot where King Philip fell. The Haffenreffer Museum of Anthropology has notable collections of Native American relics. On Hope St. is a row of preserved colonial homes. The town is the seat of Roger Williams Univ. Mt. Hope Bridge connects Bristol with PortsmouthPortsmouth.
1 City (1990 pop. 25,925), Rockingham co., SE N.H., a port of entry with a good harbor and a state-owned port terminal at the mouth of the Piscataqua River opposite Kittery, Maine; inc. 1653.
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4 Industrial cities on the Tenn.-Va. line, Sullivan co., Tenn. (1990 pop. 23,421), independent and in no county in Virginia (1990 pop. 18,426); settled 1749 as Sapling Grove, inc. as separate towns 1856, as Bristol city 1890. The two cities, although separate municipalities, are economically a unit that is the transportation and processing center of a mountainous region. Livestock is raised and electronic equipment, metal products, and caskets are produced there. Shelby's Fort (built 1771) was frequented by Daniel BooneBoone, Daniel,
1734–1820, American frontiersman, b. Oley (now Exeter) township, near Reading, Pa.

The Boones, English Quakers, left Pennsylvania in 1750 and settled (1751 or 1752) in the Yadkin valley of North Carolina.
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. Two hundred years of controversy preceded the location of the state line down the middle of State Street. King College is in Bristol, Tenn., and Virginia Intermont College is in the Virginia city. In the area are Bristol Caverns and Bristol Motor Speedway.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

Bristol (Independent City), Virginia

497 Cumberland St Rm 210
Bristol, VA 24201
Phone: (276) 645-7321
Fax: (276) 821-6097

In southwestern VA on the Tennessee border. Name Origin: Established in 1850 as Goodson, for Samuel Goodson, the founder; incorporated as a town in 1856. Incorporated as a city and renamed Bristol in 1890 for the contiguous town in TN of the same name

Area (sq mi):: 13.16 (land 12.90; water 0.27) Population per square mile: 1343.80
Population 2005: 17,335 State rank: 85 Population change: 2000-20005 -0.20%; 1990-2000 -5.70% Population 2000: 17,367 (White 91.90%; Black or African American 5.60%; Hispanic or Latino 1.00%; Asian 0.40%; Other 1.50%). Foreign born: 1.40%. Median age: 41.30
Income 2000: per capita $17,311; median household $27,389; Population below poverty level: 16.20% Personal per capita income (2000-2003): $23,044-$25,307
Unemployment (2004): 6.10% Unemployment change (from 2000): 2.10% Median travel time to work: 18.00 minutes Working outside county of residence: 53.60%
Cities with population over 10,000:
  • Bristol County seat (17,308)

  • See other counties in .
    Counties USA: A Directory of United States Counties, 3rd Edition. © 2006 by Omnigraphics, Inc.
    The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



    a city (county borough) in southwestern Great Britain in Gloucestershire on the river Avon not far from its mouth in the Bristol Channel of the Atlantic Ocean. Population, circa 427,200 (1969). It is a major port (with the out-ports of Avonmouth and Portishead) and railroad junction. It is a machine-building center that is noted for its aircraft and jet aviation industry (the factories of the British Aircraft Corporation and of Bristol-Siddeley are located in the northern suburb of Filton). There are food and condiment (sugar, chocolate, and tobacco), chemical, and petroleum refining industries, as well as nonferrous metallurgy (using imported raw materials). It has a university.

    It was founded in about the sixth century and from the 12th century has been well known as a major port. During the colonization of North America and the West Indies (in the 17th and the early 18th centuries) Bristol was one of the slave-trading and colonial trading centers (sugar, tobacco, and so forth).

    Preserved in Bristol are dwellings from the Middle Ages, the late Romanesque frame hospital of St. Peter (12th century), a cathedral (begun in 1142 and rebuilt in the Gothic style during the 13th to 15th centuries), the Gothic church of St. Mary Redcliffe (from the 13th century to 1475), a stock market (1740-43 by the architect J. Wood) in the classical style, and a single-span suspension bridge (1836-64, with a length of c. 230 m). There is a museum and a city art gallery.


    Bristol and Its Adjoining Counties. Bristol, 1955.
    The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


    1. City of. a port and industrial city in SW England, mainly in Bristol unitary authority, on the River Avon seven miles from its mouth on the Bristol Channel: a major port, trading with America, in the 17th and 18th centuries; the modern port consists chiefly of docks at Avonmouth and Portishead; noted for the Clifton Suspension Bridge (designed by I K Brunel, 1834) over the Avon gorge; Bristol university (1909) and University of the West of England (1992). Pop.: 420 556 (2001)
    2. City of. a unitary authority in SW England, created in 1996 from part of Avon county. Pop.: 391 500 (2003 est.). Area: 110 sq. km (42 sq. miles)
    Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
    References in periodicals archive ?
    21, 1951, in Bristol, Virginia.<br />During his 30 years at GSB he worked on hospitality, renovation and restoration, adaptive reuse, commercial and government projects.<br />He had bachelor's and master's degrees in architecture from Tulane University.<br />A memorial service is scheduled at 3 p.m.
    Greeneville, Tennessee-based Green Bankshares Inc, with total assets of nearly USD2.619bn, is the holding company for GreenBank, which has 63 branches across East and Middle Tennessee, and one branch each in Bristol, Virginia, and Hot Springs, North Carolina.
    "Sales, service and administration are being transferred to Sandvik's facilities in Bristol, Virginia. The service and repair workshops in Bolt, West Virginia, and Brier Hill, Pennsylvania, as well as strategically located warehouses will remain open," Sandvik said.
    Coal supplier Alpha Natural Resources (NYSE:ANR) revealed on Monday the official inauguration of its new corporate headquarters facility in Bristol, Virginia.
    With total assets of nearly USD2.619bn, Greeneville, Tennessee-based Green Bankshares Inc is the holding company for GreenBank, which has 63 branches across East and Middle Tennessee, and one branch each in Bristol, Virginia, and Hot Springs, North Carolina.
    Aerus LLC is wholly owned by Aerus Holdings, LLC, which is headquartered in Dallas, Texas and maintains a manufacturing facility in Bristol, Virginia. Holdings, through its various subsidiaries, employs several hundred people and also owns Vollara and ActivTek.
    With total assets of approximately USD2.794bn, Greeneville, Tennessee-based Green Bankshares Inc is the holding company for GreenBank, which has 63 branches across East and Middle Tennessee, and one branch each in Bristol, Virginia, and Hot Springs, North Carolina.
    With total assets of nearly USD2.796bn as of March 31, 2009, Greeneville, Tennessee-based Green Bankshares Inc is the holding company for GreenBank that has 63 branches across East and Middle Tennessee, and one branch each in Bristol, Virginia, and Hot Springs, North Carolina.